Boys' Latin coach Drew Haugh hands out "devil" decals to reward favorable play, and in yesterday's 33-0 rout of visiting John Carroll, Ryan Mollett was a demon.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior did most of his damage in a 19-point second quarter, as the Lakers (6-2, 4-0) turned back their Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference rivals.
Mollett's 7-yard option pass to Brian Berger made it 7-0, finishing a 78-yard, seven-play drive with 11:54 left in the half. His 3-yard scoring run ended an eight-play march that covered 34 yards.
He returned an interception 67-yards for a score 32 seconds before halftime, finishing with 70 yards on 14 carries and five receptions for 77. Mollett's performance belied an ankle injury that had forced him out of three games.
"My ankle problem's all worked out," said Mollett, one of three players who missed a loss to Northeast.
"Our juniors were all on an eighth-grade team that went unbeaten and unscored upon. This is how we can play when we're on."
With last year's champ Severn and No. 8 St. Paul's (8-0, 4-0) left to play, the Lakers remain in the hunt for the title. St. Paul's beat John Carroll, 13-3, earlier.
"We're in great position," said Haugh. "We figure we can play for at least a tie for the league crown."
Lakers tackles T. W. Winston and Jake Hunter, each with a sack, led a defense that limited the Patriots to 109 total yards. Joe Buchannon (5-6, 125) returned the first of his two interceptions 47 yards for a 26-0 lead 4:45 before the fourth period.
John Carroll (3-3, 2-2) had its best scoring opportunity on its first possession but stalled on downs at the Lakers' 31.
John Carroll's secondary had handled Havre de Grace quarterback Billy Jackson, who has an area-best 21 touchdown passes.
But Lakers quarterback Aaron Vercollone "had a field day," said Patriots coach Bill Mackley, "because Boys' Latin's offensive line is 100 percent better than Havre de Grace's."
Vercollone entered with 655 passing yards and went 8-for-15 for 103 yards. His 3-yard scoring strike to Berger (5-8, 130) was his
10th passing score of the year, capping a 10-play, 63-yard march with 10:32 left in the game.
He rushed six times for 32 yards, was 3-for-4 on extra-point kicks and was sacked for only the second time this season by Kris Nesbitt.
"I rarely ever got touched and always get the blocking I need," said Vercollone, crediting Winston, Matt Sullivan, John McHugh and Rob Turchi.
Conversely, few things went right for the Patriots.
Punter Ryan Stangle entered the game with an area-leading 42.5-yard average.
But standing at his own 21 early in the second quarter, he got off a 14-yard punt that landed on his own 34, setting up Boys' Latin's second score.